Monster Hunter Rise Best Weapons – The Hardest Part Is Picking Just One

The Monster Hunter franchise finally got the recognition it deserved with the incredibly successful launch of Monster Hunter World and now Monster Hunter Rise. Much of the ‘busy work’ the series was criticized for has been reworked or removed, and there’s never been a better time to dive into the series. With a new audience comes a thirst for knowledge, and one question I always see asked is, ‘What is the best weapon?’

Anyone who’s sunk a decent amount of time into the Monster Hunter games will tell you there is no singular best weapon. There never will be, and that’s why Monster Hunter balancing always receives such high praise. That being said, some weapons do specific tasks better than the rest, and those will quickly become your favorites if they offer something that resonates with you.

In this guide, I’ll show you what those weapons are and offer a short overview, including recommendations for Armor and Switch Skills. Whether you’re a novice or just looking for a new murder toy to play with, let’s find you the perfect weapon.

If you’re brand new to the series and looking for your first weapon, here is our tier list of best beginner weapons.

Bottom Line Up Front

If you’re new to Monster Hunter games, I highly recommend the Sword and Shield if you enjoy melee combat and the Bow if you prefer ranged. Both are easy to use and intuitive, with no resource management to worry about. Some weapons feel clunky in the early game, especially the Heavy Bowgun, but if you’re willing to put the time in, there’s a ton of enjoyment to be had with any weapon. Don’t forget to try out the Training Area in Kamura Village, where you can try out every type of weapon in the game against a training dummy.

The Best Weapons in Monster Hunter Rise

As stated above, there is no singular best weapon in Monster Hunter. Some are best for particular jobs though, and that’s what I will cover in this section. Whether you want the best weapon to K.O. monsters or support your team with powerful buffs, I’ve got you covered.

Great Sword

Monster Hunter Rise Great Sword
Maximum DPS – Image by Anthony

The Great Sword can deal the heaviest hits in the game and kick out damage numbers soaring into the thousands! It has simple combos, and its nuance lies in your ability to land these devastating blows consistently. As a Great Sword user, you’re the prime candidate to wake sleeping monsters, so barrel bombs are essential to your loadout.

The Great Sword’s incredible power is offset by its sluggish speed. Agile monsters like Barrioth and Nargacuga will run rings around you, which can be overwhelming. Even though you rely on basic combos, it takes patience and game knowledge to get the most out of this oversized blade, so I don’t recommend this weapon for beginners.

The basic combo for Great Sword is ‘X’ ‘X’ ‘X’ holding each button until the 3rd chime for the greatest damage. You can do a short Tackle with ‘A’ to cancel any of these attacks and move on to the next one. The Tackle may not look like much, but it deals K.O. damage and protects you a little if you’re hit during. With practice, you can Tackle through all sorts of crazy things, including roars.

Strongarm Stance

Strongarm Stance costs 2 Wirebugs and briefly puts you into a defensive stance. If a monster hits you during that time, you’ll retaliate with the heaviest single hit in the entire game! The Stance also mitigates most damage sources but only for one hit, so monsters that throw rapid attacks at you are still a problem.

Power Sheathe

While not as exciting on paper as the Strongarm Stance, Power Sheathe auto-sheathes your weapon, briefly boosting your attack damage. This Skill also doubles as a superb re-positioning tool, something the Great Sword desperately needs.

  • Critical Draw
  • Quick Sheathe
  • Focus


Monster Hunter Rise Bow
Precise and Powerful – Image by Anthony

The Bow is the most versatile ranged weapon in Monster Hunter. It’s incredible for exploiting elemental weaknesses and has a toolbox of potent ammo types. On top of its versatility, it’s also effortless to use, so the hunter can consistently deal damage while focusing on staying safe.

As a Bow user, you can also access a fantastic power play in Dragon Piercer. When you use this attack (X+A), you stand in place and fire a piercing stake at the monster. This devastating projectile cuts through anything; the longer it takes to pass through your target, the more damage it does. For the best results, try and hit monsters through the head all the way to their tail, or vice versa. You are vulnerable while using Dragon Piercer, so it’s best used when the monster is down or stunned.

If you’re new to the Bow, the most important thing to know is that rapidly spamming your shots is far more effective than carefully placing them. Simple combos like ‘ZR’ ‘ZR’ ‘A’ ‘A’ do solid damage. Remember to always use coatings; even the Close Range coating is better than nothing.

Herculean Draw

This Switch Skill grants a 10% Raw attack boost for 30 seconds. It also functions as a powerful re-positioning tool, pulling you around the map.

Aerial Aim

Aerial Aim launches your hunter into the air so you can attack with a volley from above. It’s a great offensive skill and can quickly put monsters into a ride-able state. It’s also a good panic move, even if some monsters’ vertical hitboxes are a little janky.

  • Mighty Bow
  • Weakness Exploit
  • Critical Boost

Sword and Shield

Monster Hunter Rise Sword and Shield
Best for Beginners – Image by Anthony

The Sword and Shield (SnS) is often touted as the best weapon for beginners as it teaches solid fundamentals. I completely agree with this assessment but disagree with the stigma that SnS is just a novice weapon. There are nights when I don’t see a single SnS user besides myself, and that’s a shame, as this weapon really does do everything.

The SnS is easy to learn as it’s so intuitive. ‘X’ swings your Sword, which does Slicing damage, and ‘A’ bashes with your Shield for K.O. damage. Your K.O. potential is nothing to scoff at, and you can quickly stun monsters with a few well-placed blows to the head. As a defensive tool, your Shield is laughable compared to the Lance and Charge Blade, but it can save you in a pinch.

While not strictly the best at any one thing, there’s never a situation where you aren’t an asset to your party with this weapon. SnS does everything, and I forever find myself returning to it when I need to be the jack of all trades.

Shield Bash

Shield bash throws the hunter forward, dealing decent K.O. damage to any monster standing in the way. This Skill is excellent if you can consistently land blows to the monster’s head.

Metsu Shoryugeki

This Skill looks and sounds like a Street Fighter move. For the cost of 2 Wirebugs, your hunter launches vertically into the air Shield first, dealing respectable K.O. damage. Once in the air, you can come down with a Sword or Shield attack. Just beware, you’re very vulnerable if you miss.

  • Protective Polish
  • Weakness Exploit
  • Flinch Free

Hunting Horn

Monster Hunter Rise Hunting Horn
It’s Party Time! – Image by Anthony

The Hunting Horn (AKA the Doot Flute) is a phenomenal weapon capable of stunning monsters with a few well-placed hits and providing incredible buffs for the entire team. The saddest thing about the Horn is that it’s rare online, much like the SnS.

Many misconceptions about this weapon come from previous Monster Hunter games. Once upon a time, songs were awkward, and the Horn only shone in a support role. Now, songs are idiot-proof, and the Doot Flute kicks out savage amounts of damage. If you play online and show up with the Hunting Horn, your team will love you! If you play solo, you can weave those buffs into your playstyle and reap the benefits for the entire fight.

The only downside of the weapon is that many early-game horns bestow mediocre (or downright useless) buffs. It’s still usable with its tremendous K.O. potential, but it’ll take a while until you can enjoy its full potential.

Overhead Smash

As the name implies, with this Switch Skill, you beat your opponent over the head with a mighty smash reducing their stamina and dealing decent K.O. damage. Melodic Slap does more K.O. damage and is a worthy alternative if you prefer it.

Sonic Bloom

Sonic Bloom does an absurd amount of damage after you’ve played a melody. Once you’re used to how the Skill works, it’s a fantastic attack to wake monsters up with if you don’t have a Great Sword user in your party.

  • Horn Maestro
  • Slugger
  • Flinch Free


Monster Hunter Rise Hammer
The K.O. King – Image by Anthony

The Hammer is a simple weapon with a simple game plan. Beat the monster around the head until it hits the canvas. K.O. Damage is excellent in Monster Hunter because it grants a guaranteed knockdown for your team to take advantage of. The Hammer is surprisingly mobile, considering its size, and is capable of constant powerful hits to grind monsters down.

The Hammers combos are nice and easy. Pressing ‘X’ ‘X’ ‘X’ unleashes a simple chain of attacks where you bludgeon your opponent over the head twice before hitting them with an uppercut, and the playstyle overall is far more forgiving than the Great Sword.

The biggest issue with the Hammer is you always want to target the head… The part where the teeth and fire breath come from. You have the mobility tools to stay safe, but it’s easy to overextend without any way to block. With this in mind, I recommend investing a few points into Defensive skills like Defense Boost and Divine Blessing on top of the Armor Skills mentioned below.

Water Strike

This great Switch Skill patches up one glaring weakness in the Hammer’s utility, defense. Water Strike lets you absorb an enemy hit and gives a small window for a follow-up attack. This isn’t a ‘parry’ per se like the Great Swords Strongarm Stance, but it can save your life.

Keeping Sway

Defending against a single attack is great, but sometimes the better option is disengaging entirely. Keeping Sway allows you to do just that, and even though it’s not as flashy as other Switch Skills mentioned here, monsters are fast in Rise, and movement skills are a valuable counter to them.

  • Weakness Exploit
  • Slugger
  • Stamina Thief

Long Sword

Monster Hunter Rise Long Sword
The Tail Slicer – Image by Anthony

It’s clear that someone at Capcom is madly in love with the Long Sword. Just about every move this weapon has is sleek and stylish. Seriously, the attacks this weapon got for the Sunbreak DLC had fans’ jaws hitting the ground in unison. The Long Sword deals respectable damage, has many great offensive and defensive tools, and is the best weapon for slicing off tails, bar none.

Long Sword users have a reputation online for tripping their fellow hunters with their wide arcing swings. This is something you should be aware of as a Long Sword user, but your party should invest in the Flinch Free skill for group hunts, so this argument goes both ways. A considerate, skilled Long Sword user is a sight to behold and a welcome addition to any hunting party.

Tempered Spirit Blade

Especially when you’re new to the Long Sword, meter management can be a pain, and this Switch Skill really helps with that. If you activate Tempered Spirit Blade just before you get hit, you’ll retaliate and, most importantly, gain a level on your Spirit Gauge. This allows you to keep those damage numbers up even if things aren’t going your way.

Serene Pose

A few Switch Skills offer a counter-stance of sorts, but none do them quite like Serene Pose. While the Stance is active, any damage you take is mitigated and swiftly countered, dealing decent damage. This is a perfect panic move and allows you to continue your offensive immediately after.

  • Critical Eye
  • Evade Extender
  • Quick Sheathe

Honorable Mentions

Although not the best at any particular thing, these weapons bring something unique to the table that hunters can’t find anywhere else. If you’re drawn to these, you may have to work harder than your peers for those juicy damage numbers, but they are so unique you may just fall in love with them.

Charge Blade

Monster Hunter Rise Charge Blade
Beauty in Complexity – Image by Anthony

If you ask any Monster Hunter veteran what the most complicated weapon in the game is, they’ll tell you it’s the Charge Blade, and I agree entirely. Make no mistake, the Charge Blade doesn’t excel at any task, but it can do everything from elemental damage to slicing off tails. You can even deal decent K.O. damage with the Impact Charge Blades.

Only bother with this weapon if you’re willing to put the time in. If you’re up to the challenge and are attracted to the freeform play style the weapon offers, this weapon may end up being your ‘main’ for hundreds of hours. You can’t follow a flowchart with the Charge Blade, and this forces a reactionary but rewarding play style that no other weapon will give you.

Axe Hopper

Axe Hopper is a great mobility skill that turns the Charge Blade into a giant Pogo stick and throws the hunter skyward. This is a decent ability for dodging, and you can use your airtime to launch aerial attacks.

Air Dash

Air Dash is a solid panic move that can be used for quick evasion. You can also use this offensively to close distance. You’re not completely invincible during an Air Dash, but the I-frames are generous, and with good timing, you can dash straight through some attacks.

  • Focus
  • Power Prolonger
  • Capacity Boost


Monster Hunter Rise Lance
Poke, Poke, Poke – Image by Anthony

Monster Hunter games have evolved; over time, they have become faster, more frantic, and more chaotic. The franchise exploded in popularity with the release of Monster Hunter World, but if you’re a long-time player, you might enjoy a slower, methodical approach to hunts. There’s nothing wrong with that, and the Lance might offer the fighting style you desire.

The Lance makes the honorable mentions because although it doesn’t boast insane damage numbers or mind-blowing K.O. potential, it offers something no other weapon does. A play style reminiscent of the older Monster Hunter titles

The Lance rewards game knowledge and pattern memorization. Your game plan is simple. Stick close to your target no matter what they do and poke them to death. Honestly, it’s pretty barbaric when you think about it, but you have all the tools to carry out a never-ending assault.

The Shield that complements the weapon is the strongest in the game and can block the most potent Risen Elder Dragon attacks. With practice, you’ll become an immovable object that no monster can topple.

Insta Block

You probably see a pattern here, but I highly rate counterattacks and parries in Monster Hunter Rise. Insta Block is the Lance’s version of this ability. It’s not as flashy as its contemporaries, but incredibly useful all the same.

Skyward Thrust

Skyward Thrust throws the hunter skyward so they can plunge their weapon into monsters below. The damage is alright, but I like this Skill as a panic button as the jump is so high, you’ll easily clear most threats.

  • Flinch Free *This is Mandatory for online play!
  • Offensive Guard
  • Evade Extender

Useful Resources

  • You can check out our beginner-friendly tier list for Monster Hunter Rise weapons here
  • Kiranico is a well-known resource for Monster Hunter players, as it’s basically an encyclopedia’s worth of data. It’s a little tricky to navigate, but if you’re looking for drop rates and in-depth stats, it’s worth a look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Are there any universal Armor Skills I should go for?

Answer: The Skills I’ve mentioned above greatly benefit those specific weapons, but the following skills are brilliant on a ny weapon if you can get them:
• Attack Boost
• Defense Boost
• Divine Blessing
• Flinch Free
• Stun Resistance
• Agitator
• Critical Eye
• Earplugs

Question: I’ve read that Evade Extender is bad. Why is that?

Answer: An elitist group in the community believes skills like Evade Extender teach bad habits. Evade Extender increases your evasion distance so you can quickly escape if your positioning is poor. Monster Hunter is a videogame at the end of the day, so use whatever you like. If Evade Extender keeps you alive, I’d much rather have you on my team than someone who carts in the name of being ‘hardcore’.

Question: What is a Guard Point?

Answer: Guard Points are an advanced part of the Charge Blade’s kit and occur when the hunter naturally raises their Shield during attack animations. Even though the hunter isn’t technically blocking, as the Shield is in the way, it still negates damage while the hunter is on the offensive. Guard Points are as advanced as they sound but make you feel like a badass, even if we all know you did it by accident.

Looking for more interesting readings? Check out:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top